‘Michael was a decent man and wouldn’t harm a fly’

PEOPLE living in “the village within a city” have expressed their shock at the murder of a 62-year-old taxi driver described as a “nice, quiet man who wouldn’t harm a fly”.

Residents of the Cork suburb of St Luke’s are still trying to come to terms with the brutal killing of hard-working taxi driver Michael Healy, who lived on his own in a bedsit.

He was a regular visitor to Denis and Teresa Hennessy’s shop, a few yards from his home.

“Michael normally came in twice a day. He had a set routine. He’d come in for the newspapers around 8.30am and then come in again between 4pm and 5pm,” Teresa said.

“He was always joking and laughing. He worked hard, so he didn’t socialise that much. Michael was a very decent man and wouldn’t harm a fly,” Teresa said.

She added that Mr Healy was a big GAA fan, who liked nothing more than watching matches at the weekends.

Denis, who has owned the shop for the past 30 years, said St Luke’s was normally a very peaceful and safe area.

“Michael was a very nice man. We’ve never had anything like this happen around here before. But I can’t say I’m totally shocked as it’s [murders] happening all the time around the country.”

Kenny Adewole, who lives in one of the eight flats in the complex where Mr Healy’s body was discovered, also said he was a very nice man.

“He was a good man and we used to talk all the time. This is a terrible thing to happen,” Kenny said.

His friend, Aiden Byrnes, whose girlfriend lives in the same flats complex, said he was shocked.

“Michael will be a big loss to the community and I’ll miss him,” he said.

Donal O’Keeffe, who owns Artisan Foods and O’Keeffe Grocery, said Mr Healy often came into his shop.

“He’d normally come in here for his groceries. He was a quiet, nice man. We’d often see his taxi parked up around here during the day.”

He described St Luke’s as a peaceful community. “It’s really a small village within the city. People here are in utter shock,” Donal said.

In the city centre taxi drivers were trying to come to terms with the murder of their colleague.

Mr Healy worked for himself and was usually to be seen in his Toyota Avensis at the rank outside Dunnes Stores in Patrick Street.

“He was just a very nice, quiet guy. What more can I say. He was nice to everyone,” said taxi driver Pat O’Driscoll.

His colleague, Tim O’Mahoney, said he was shocked at the news of Mr Healy’s murder.

“I hope the gardaí catch his killer as quickly as possible and that the courts put that person away for a very long time,” Tim said.

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